Saturday, January 11, 2020

Scapes Far and Wide

At last in 16:9, the fourth season of Farscape begins by showcasing an even greater sense of improvisation and familiarity between cast and crew, blending seamlessly with complicated effects and design.

Season Four, Episode One: Crichton Kicks

We find Crichton (Ben Browder) with his Jeremiah Crichton beard again (though this time, apparently, it was real), taking refuge on a dying Leviathan. He's adopted a DRD he's named 1812, to which he's taught to play The 1812 Overture with electronic beeps. This recalls A Clockwork Orange but the general tone of the episode is more like a Terry Gilliam movie.

Another beautiful woman crashes into Crichton's life; the redhead Sikozu (Raelee Hill), on the run from aliens whose resemblance to Klingons Crichton doesn't refrain from pointing out. This felt scripted but a lot of the things Ben Browder does and says feel more spontaneous, like his antics when trying to lure an alien hound out into space. This moment shows how perfectly the makers of the show were able to blend natural performance with carefully contrived special effects and plotting.

The first of Moya's crew to come back after the inevitable massive bounties are put on their heads are Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy). Chiana, in the middle of chewing Crichton out for getting them into trouble, kisses him on the lips without missing a beat, another moment that's so fast and weird that it feels improvised yet also perfectly fits their relationship. The strange Moya family has now become very familiar, at least among themselves.

Sikou seems to fit in well despite being new. I always liked her, particularly in this episode. The way she and Crichton are placed in incidental physical intimacy, as when she sits on his lap facing him when they hide in his module, recalls the many times he and Aeryn (Claudia Black) were doing that in season one. Her abilities to walk on walls and reattach severed limbs somehow emphasise her sexuality. I'm really not sure why but that's Farscape for you.

. . .

Farscape is available now on Amazon Prime.

This entry is part of a series I'm writing on Farscape for the show's 20th anniversary. My previous reviews can be found here (episodes are in the order intended by the show's creators rather than the broadcast order):

Season One:

Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: I, E.T.
Episode 3: Exodus from Genesis
Episode 4: Throne for a Loss
Episode 5: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Episode 6: Thank God It's Friday Again
Episode 7: PK Tech Girl
Episode 8: That Old Black Magic
Episode 9: DNA Mad Scientist
Episode 10: They've Got a Secret
Episode 11: Till the Blood Runs Clear
Episode 12: Rhapsody in Blue
Episode 13: The Flax
Episode 14: Jeremiah Crichton
Episode 15: Durka Returns
Episode 16: A Human Reaction
Episode 17: Through the Looking Glass
Episode 18: A Bug's Life
Episode 19: Nerve
Episode 20: The Hidden Memory
Episode 21: Bone to be Wild
Episode 22: Family Ties

Season Two:

Episode 1: Mind the Baby
Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Episode 3: Taking the Stone
Episode 4: Crackers Don't Matter
Episode 5: Picture If You Will
Episode 6: The Way We Weren't
Episode 7: Home on the Remains
Episode 8: Dream a Little Dream
Episode 9: Out of Their Minds
Episode 10: My Three Crichtons
Episode 11: Look at the Princess, Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Episode 12: Look at the Princess, Part II: I Do, I Think
Episode 13: Look at the Princess, Part III: The Maltese Crichton
Episode 14: Beware of Dog
Episode 15: Won't Get Fooled Again
Episode 16: The Locket
Episode 17: The Ugly Truth
Episode 18: A Clockwork Nebari
Episode 19: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part I: A Not So Simple Plan
Episode 20: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part II: With Friends Like These . . .
Episode 21: Liars, Guns, and Money, Part III: Plan B
Episode 22: Die Me, Dichotomy

Season Three:

Episode 1: Season of Death
Episode 2: Suns and Lovers
Episode 3: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part I: Would'a, Could'a, Should'a
Episode 4: Self-Inflicted Wounds, Part II: Wait for the Wheel
Episode 5: . . . Different Destinations
Episode 6: Eat Me
Episode 7: Thanks for Sharing
Episode 8: Green Eyed Monster
Episode 9: Losing Time
Episode 10: Relativity
Episode 11: Incubator
Episode 12: Meltdown
Episode 13: Scratch 'n Sniff
Episode 14: Infinite Possibilities, Part I: Daedalus Demands
Episode 15: Infinite Possibilities, Part II: Icarus Abides
Episode 16: Revenging Angel
Episode 17: The Choice
Episode 18: Fractures
Episode 19: I-Yensch, You-Yensch
Episode 20: Into the Lion's Den, Part I: Lambs to the Slaughter
Episode 21: Into the Lion's Den, Part II: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Episode 22: A Dog with Two Bones

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